Sunday, April 23, 2017

First ever half marathon done!

Saturday, April 22, 2017, I ran my first ever half marathon. And it was an incredible experience.

I was freaking out over the weather forecast and not trusting my training again, but I didn't have anything to worry about.

The weather turned out fine and my training was spot on.

I woke up early Saturday morning because I couldn't hardly sleep. First thing I checked the radar and was delighted to find the forecasted rain moving out of the area. I had a bagel with peanut butter and a banana and headed out the door. I stopped at a McDonald's for a coffee and headed to the race.

Start time was scheduled for 6:45 a.m.

When we pulled onto the exit ramp to the race area at 6 o'clock, this is the sight that greeted us:


Traffic was already backing up pretty badly. We followed the line of cars around and found a spot to park.

I wore my fleece sleeping pants over my shorts because the temperature was right around 45 degrees, I was so happy it wasn't raining though!


Here's a shot at the starting line area.


Here I've shed my warm clothes and am getting ready to line up with my chosen pace group.

We were in line waiting when I took out my phone to get a photo and noticed a notification from the Garmin race app. They had delayed the start 15 minutes because of folks still trying to get parked. Yikes! It was so cold, but it wasn't so bad with all of us standing pretty close together.

A little before 7 o'clock, they announced they were pushing the start time back yet another 10 minutes. Haha! Oh well.

Finally at 7:10 they sang the national anthem and we were off.

Now I said earlier that I didn't have faith in my training. And I need to say right off that it was entirely my own fault. See I recently got a fancy new watch, the Forerunner 230. Which has a "race predictor" feature. And that feature predicted I could run a half in less than two hours. Now the 5k and 10k predictions were pretty close to what I can actually run, so I trusted the watch about the half.

The only problem was that my body and training was telling me that I could not run that fast. When I started my race, I ran in accordance with what my training had told me, and I did great!

I averaged 10 minutes per mile the entire 13.1 miles. And this was a challenging course. There were a good amount of hills, I'm really glad I decided long back in my training not to skimp on the hills!


This was about mile 8, where my Beloved and her sister had set up see me as I passed. It was really good to see them there! That's a funny trick of the camera, makes me look like I'm right on that lady's heels! I swear I wasn't that close.

Anyway, the race was really great. I felt like I gave a good effort. I was just about spent by the time I got done.

This was somewhere around mile 10 or so, it's one of the official race photos! Looking good!

Just after this photo it got pretty hard. There were a series of three hills that were very steep hills. And then the last half mile to the finish line we turned north to face straight into a headwind that must've been about 20 mph That was brutal!

I finished in 2:11:33, very very close to my target of 2:10. I was so happy!

Here's the official race photo of the finish line.


I didn't stay long at the party. That wind was blowing and I was wiped out. I wish that I had though. Definitely next time. I'll plan a little better and have more appropriate clothes waiting for me at the finish line!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Week 8 half marathon training: Race a 10k!

My training plan called for racing a 10k today. Since  I couldn't get to any live races I registered for a virtual from US Road Running.

It was really cold out when I ran it, but when you're running you don't really notice the cold.

 

I'm really pleased with my performance during this race. I beat my previous 10k time by more than four minutes. I was hoping to do a little better, but I was surprised at how much faster I was able to finish.

This race was a real shot in the arm for confidence. I've been kinda wondering whether this training plan I'm following was helping me out. This was concrete proof that it's doing what it's supposed to be doing and I'm thrilled.

The Garmin Marathon, where I'll be running my first ever half-marathon, is only 56 days away now. I can't wait.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Week 7 half marathon training


We rode to get groceries on last Sunday and my Beloved tells me my rear wheel is out of true. When I got home I found a broken spoke. Not very happy about that. Thankfully I had a spare wheel to put on till I can figure out what I want to do about that.



Tuesday was Valentine's Day, and my Beloved sure knows the way to my heart!


The Garmin Connect app got an update this week that included this new feature. It will automatically put your activity stats on a photo for you to share. It's kind of limited, it only does this one thing. But it's still pretty neat.


I really like the Orange Mud hydration packs, but they aren't something I really need right now. I will surely buy one of their vests when I start really racking up the miles later this year in preparation for my first ever marathon. I have had my eye on this Squishy Hat they sell. So I ordered one and it came in the mail.


My first run with the Squishy hat and it's exactly what I was wanting in a hat. Something to put on my head so I wouldn't have to worry about my hair before a run (LOL!), something to act as a sweatband that didn't look like a sweatband, and something with a bill I could use to keep the sun out of my eyes. The Squishy Hat performs very well. And it even (mostly) fits my massive melon! I usually have to special order hats from a store that specializes in triple-XL size hats.


Today's long run was my longest run to date. And it's still only half way to the finish line of a half marathon! And there's only 63 days left to the Garmin Marathon! Part of me is screaming, "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!" But I'm sure I can do this.

Last week's long run was kind of miserable. My usual habit is not to eat anything before my morning runs. But with my runs getting up in the 90 minutes plus range I think that's hurting me. So today I had a bowl of granola cereal with milk and a glass of water. I felt much better on this run, so we'll have to keep an eye on that.

The weather has been crazy beautiful here these last couple days.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Week 6 half marathon training


I've always struggled getting a good shot of this neat, historic building because there used to be a giant tree covering most of the front. We went for a walk Sunday evening and found they'd cut the tree down!



The vast majority of my posting is over on my Instagram page, if you don't follow me there you should! I try to post something every day.




These last three shots were from today's long run. What a difference it was from last Saturday! It was middle 50s -- climbing quickly to middle 70s by the end of the day. It was really beautiful.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Week 5 half marathon training





Training continues. Working up on that mileage.

I bought myself a Garmin Forerunner 230. It is a very nice GPS watch and so far I'm very pleased with it.

That last photo was after my first 90 minute run. Boy was it cold. Middle 20 degrees, with a 10-15 mph wind. It sucked! Haha!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January miles


I can't believe it, 77.8 miles for the month. The training is starting to ramp up!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week 4 half marathon training




This week I've been reading about fueling during my long runs. I tried some Hammer gels a while back just for fun, and they didn't sit well on my stomach. So I ordered some of these Honey Stinger gels and I really like the taste of them.

I finally got around to putting a front basket on my bicycle. I really like baskets for getting groceries and such.

I found a series on YouTube called "Yoga with Adrienne" and she has a runner-specific workout. It's very nice and I try to do it once or twice a week.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week 3: Half marathon





This week I got sick of having troubles with my Garmin heart rate strap giving me inaccurate readings for the first 8-10 minutes of a run so I bought a tube of BuhBump electro cream and that seems to be doing the trick. No more drop outs at the beginning of my runs. Also I learned that those little patches on the back of the strap are important parts as far as contact with my skin is concerned.

I also ordered myself a new SPI Belt. I really enjoy my first one, but I wanted something with some fuel loops. Also this one is supposed to be water resistant. I'm not a fan of finding my expensive phone covered in sweat after a run, we'll have to see.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Half marathon training week 2





Winter in Missouri can be a little ... temperamental. Long-sleeves one day, short the next. Then on to full on winter gear! LOL!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week 1 half marathon training

The first week of half marathon training got off to a cold start. We got a little bit of snow and frigid temperatures to go with it!





And I won a prize pack from Monica at RunEatRepeat which I got in the mail. Can't wait to try all this stuff out!